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madpoet

about mechanics - what I wrote

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I post here all the mechanics issues I underlined (and sometime tried to fix)  with a mail to the DH  beta team.

 

CHAPTER II: CHARACTER CREATION:

 

INFLUENCE

 

We think that influence should have been a group statistic and not related to the single character.

 

Also it should have been used to access rare, reserved or proscribed objects or services (things that cannot be bought freely).

 

Obtaining the service of a unit of soldiers or arbites could be a +30 influence roll, to find a ship ready to force an Imperial Navy’s blockade a +0 test or accessing a forbidden book or xeno artifact a -30 roll.

 

The Acolytes Cell should be the one to check the influence not just one character. The actions of a single character could affect the group influence and in the end also the Inquisotor’s influence.

 

Acquiring normal equipment and services should instead be handled with money.

 

Otherwise with the current system a character could fail to get a passage on a ship even if the group is a very experienced and rich one just because they had an unlucky roll.

 

Also the talent CONTACT NETWORK (p.100) nearly empties Influence of any usefulness.

 

In an totally alternative (but fully compatible) rules system for Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu I devised I wanted to add the 10th characteristic to the same list you’re using.

 

I decided to add LUCK. Instead of being rolled with a modified d5 , Fate Points could be the bonus of the Luck characteristic that would be modified by the world of origin.

 

In this way a Game Master could rewards players giving small increase of the LUCK characteristic that at the same time would decrease by 10 every time a character burn a fate point to survive death.

 

AGILITY and STRENGTH (+FELLOWSHIP)

 

I strongly believe that in a good rule system all characteristic should be balanced in usefulness.

 

In DH Agility was already too important and now the problem has worsened.

 

It modifies many important skills, initiative, movement and also many melee weapons rate of attack. In the Beta Update 1 you further expanded Agility use to damage.

 

This is frrpòy wrong and unbalancing.

 

At the same time Strength is now underpowered.

 

It modifies the carrying capacity and a few skills but now it isn’t even added to all kind of melee damage.

 

Strenght should add to every melee weapon damage because it’s clear that an old crone cannot stab a person with a knife and doing the same damage as the weapon was handled by a well muscled man.

 

It s also true that a strong man could do more damage with a maul or battle axe (both heavy weapons) than a weak one.

 

Perhaps you should move movement rate from Agility to Strength and allow Str Bonus to every melee w. but with a CAP or multiplying the bonus (1/2 for small, 1 for normal, 2 for heavy).

 

Fellowship as also been partially stripped of her valor because skills traditionally associated to fellowship/charm (like deceive to tell lies) now use in intelligence or others characteristic.

 

I’m aware that in most RPGames fellowship/charm tend to be left to certain kinds of players but, as I said before, every characteristic should be important to every character.

 

HOME WORLD BONUSES

 

Not all the worlds bonuses are well balanced.

 

Hive’s +2 initiative is very useful compared to Void Born Zero G bonus.

 

BACKGOUNDS

 

There are only a few strange things.

 

Administratum starts with Quick Draw Talent. Why?

 

Also Medicae Skill and Commerce should be picked alternatively. It impossible that every clerk is trained in both.

 

Mechanicus begins with Athletics and Subterfuge. Why? To carry heavy weight if their machine run out of fuel and to open lock if they lose the keys? Absurd.

 

And why they receive SP and Low Tech Weapon Talent instead of laser? Are they technologically less trained than Adeptus Administratum?

 

Ministorum: All priest learn how to use a flamer?

 

The background bonus is not a little too strong?

 

Outcast: Chain weapons instead of Low Tech? Quite expensive for an outcast.

 

ROLE

 

Assassin special ability (p.43) is scarcely useful but for some group which use often tactical maps and also is a little strange as a special power for a Killer.

 

Also strength is one of the main characteristic. An assassin could prefer to kill from distance or often with stealth.

 

It should have been better to substitute strength with ballistic or melee (player choice).

 

Chirurgeon main characteristic is Melee instead of Perception or Wp? Using a surgical blade means they learn more easily how to handle a sword or a warhammer?

 

Desperado special rule is strong but if I m not wrong it’s useful only if the character attack with a two weapon style.

 

Sage has agility as preferred characteristic…. Why?

 

Warrior special ability (p.56) is too strong with rules that normally allow 1 extra attack per degree of success (even with a max rate of attack) and is also a poorly realistic ability.

 

Finally Hierophant, Sage and Seeker abilities allow them to spend fate points to automatically succeed at some skill test.

 

This is wrong because in this way the players won’t rise the signature skills of their characters because the can succeed without rolling.

 

SKILLS

 

To be honest some skills have been linked to characteristic in a strange way. Ex.Remembrance skill (Forbidden lore use) based on WP.

 

It s also strange to have only 1 skill as Remembrance or Linguistics and needing just one talent for increasing the fields of knowledge. It means that I can train a character as a sage expert in demon and it needs only a feat to “wake up” with a perfect knowledge of greenskins. It's silly.

 

Barter (p.79) is an absurd and unbalancing use of the commerce skill. There is no way that I could give a common item for obtaining an appreciable discount on a rare one.

 

Evade: Why a fireball should be avoided rolling WP instead of Agility? Why a melee attack cannot be dodged but only parried? In this case old rules were better.

 

Acrobatics - Manoeuvring (p.76) allow a character to disengage spending 2 action instead of 3. Already the disengage action allow a character to move away from melee but with this skill he can disengage (2 action) and fire with nearly every kind of weapon. The problem is that the character attacking with a melee weapon already spent a lot o action point trying to engage (the movement is quite slow even compared to the range of a pistol) and many melee weapons need at least 2 action point to make a single attack.

 

Medicae: I have a question. With the First Aid use (p.86) is possible to try to heal every single wound suffered in the last hour? If a character got 5 wounds e 1 critical we have to roll 6 times to check it? It seems to me a time consuming choice. At the end of a combat a medic character would spend a lot of time rolling dice.

 

At the same time an agile and skilled character could heal nearly every wound in the first hour.

 

Perhaps healing wounds should take much longer so a single character cannot heal more than a certain small (Ag or In bonus) amount of wounds in a single hour.

 

 

TALENTS

 

Disarm: it should take an attack action. Otherwise a character will always try to disarm an opponent.

 

Nimble: is absurdly unbalanced. It takes away 90% of the need of Toughness.

 

Snap fire: it should cost 1 action point. The bonus should be being able to attack one time more in a round.

 

Step Aside: totally unbalanced (if it works also vs melee attack) because moving away just 5 meters (Ag bonus minimum to get the talent) means that the character will automatically avoid the melee attack.

 

Contact network: unbalanced. No more need of influence characteristic.

 

Cover Up: reduce a permanent characteristic (influence) to slightly rise a temporary one (subtlety)? NEVER!

 

Flash of insight: ok, it expensive but gaming should not become a mere list of combats. Let’s the player discover the few clues necessary in an adventure of DH (we’re not playing Call of Cthulhu).

 

Crippling strikes: it s like saying that the character deals +5 damage with every single melee hit. It’s a lot….If used in combo with precise strike and furious assault it s possible to kill with a single attack.

 

Lighting attack: it cost a lot and add only 1 to the rate of attacks but every attack deals -3 damage. Non strong enough.

 

Takedown: too strong. Many weapons deeds more than 1 action to be used. That’s means a character hit with takedown (knocked prone and dazed) receive only 2 action. He needs 1 action to stand up and the last one must be kept for evading the next attack otherwise he will be helpless. Takedown should not inflict the dazed condition otherwise every combat with a strong enemy there will be a character slamming all the time.

 

Preternatural speed: it cost 600 xp but add just 1 meter to charge movement. Not useful enough.

 

Meditation: with the new rules dying of too much fatigue is a common occurrence so perhaps the feat is too strong.

 

Luminen talents give attacks with sapping quality. Sapping is quite strong because add fatigue to an opponent. There are too many different ways of getting fatigue points (wounds, fear, weapon qualitie, etc) and is very easy to pass out (fatigue>WP+TO bonuses) or to die from fatigue (WP+TO bonuses)x2.

 

Mechadendrite use: no bonus action points to use the extra “arms”? Mecha weapon now are not useful at all.

 

Prosanguine: Wow! It cost a lot but it heal too much.

 

Hatred has always been useful only to melee based characters. It should add at least a bonus to resist fear against the hated foes.

 

ARMOURY

 

Honestly with the 1th update you fixed many thing but you also made some mistakes in trying to invent new mechanics.

 

Ranged Weapons

 

Shotgun: spray quality for a shotgun? With this rule the shotgun wold be the perfect weapon for firing at 30 meters because at that distance the spray's cone is quite large. Definitively better's the old rule (+ damage at short range).

 

Penetration= Perception bonus. It's silly if you want to apply it only to certain weapon. Every weapon with a scope can be quite accurate at a certain range.

 

You modified plasma weapon. A plasma gun was 1d10+12 and now it s 3d10 with an amazing penetration that should have been a quality 'reserved' to melta. Also the overcharge = Int bonus is quite strange.

 

Melee Weapons

 

That the weakest spot of the rules and the update one worsened it..

 

RoF based on Ab is amazingly better than the normal with a fixed fraction.

 

Weapons with 1/3 RoF are very difficult to use. A enemy engaged can spend 3 or less action point to disengage and the attacker must forfeit any evade action because he needs 3 action to attack e 1 to move.

 

Eviscerator is even worse. He cannot be used at all because it cannot attack the same round of engaging because it takes 4 actions just to make 1 attack. The engaged enemy can disengage with 'only' 3 actions (or less with acrobatics) and attack after o before the movement. In his turn the eviscerator owner cannot attack again because he need to engage his target......

 

Every great fighter should use swords instead of axes and heavy weapons.

 

Better's also not to allow Ab to modify damage.

 

As I said before AGILITY IS ALREADY TOO IMPORTANT!

 

Is DH beta staff leader a ROGUE / SWASHBUCKLER LOVER?

 

It also wrong because every melee weapon can do more damage if it strikes a vital organ or a nerve.

 

If we start saying that an dextrous man can do more damage we should say the same for one with a high perception or even with a good understanding of the anatomy.

 

Staff is a large weapon but it does too much damage and strangely doesn't add Stb.

 

Warhammer has the concussive quality. WHY? No other bludgeoning weapons share the same quality and an heavy caliber bullet could do have the same impact!

 

In update one swords' RoF is based on WS bonus.

 

That's ok but you should apply the rule to EVERY WEAPON!

 

ARMOUR

 

Robes still give too much protection to the body compared to more expensive and resistant one.

 

 

 

PSYCHIC

 

The new rules work very well but now it s not convenient at all to push.

 

With a -10 per extra power point it become too difficult to manifest a psy power and the gain is often a little one.

 

The sole powers that are unbalancing are Forewarding and partially Foreboding.

 

With an high powered enemy (demon, hero or similar) a psyker can spend his time just helping his team avoiding the main enemy attacks.

 

The last thing I've to say about Psychic is that to roll 2d10+ psy power used to determine Perils of the warp effect is too erratic. The luck range is too wide.

 

It should have been better to roll just 1d10 adding 2 x psy power or similar.

 

 

COMBAT

 

That's great but wounds should be tracked for every specific location.

 

It s not logical to add a modify of +5 (or+10 for critical wounds) if the previous wounds affected other body parts.

 

I would solve the problem in a different way adding together only hits to the same body part.

 

ex. I di 10 damage left enemy leg with a rending (no effect) after I hit again the same leg for 15 damage so I check the new total amount (10+15) on the table (p.13 of the update) and the leg is severed.

 

At the same time the wound's effect list is too long and it takes too much to become lethal.

 

No weapon with a single hit can do enough damage to kill even a standard enemy.

 

Not even a revised maximum damage plasma rifle!

 

The sole life or death difference between a 1° rank and a 10° rank acolyte is the evade skill and the toughness.

 

FEAR AND CORRUPTION

 

Fear is too dangerous.

 

Rolling 2d10 modified by insanity bonus give a too wide range and too many effect are permanent.

 

1d10+ 2 x insanity point bonus should have been more balanced.

 

Fear also gives fatigue points (p.251) for each degree of failed check.

 

I understand that it s possible to die of fear but as I already said there are too many effect that give fatigue.

 

Combining together fear and corruption could be another too lethal rule.

 

There are already too many ways to get corruption point and it s possible just with a score of 10 to get a malignancy that can force a player to retire his character.

 

Any decent imperial citizen would kill himself if he roll a 15 and a tentacle emerge from his ass (15+1 corruption bonus on the table p.256) but also gills, sightless orbs, chaos symbol stigmata, and many others are a death sentence for a character.

 

Definitively would be better to create a more progressive table with very small effects which slowly turn more evident and potent.

 

A light skin rush can become strangely colored and as corruption increase it can become painful or distracting and after many others soul damning event it could start to grow and turn in a a mouth, tentacle or something else until the whole body become something else and the character become a demon like creature.

 

So instead of gaining several different and unrelated effects the first one rolled could become more evident end powerful.

 

 

FATE POINTS

 

Last but not least, since I started to play at your WFRP3, I never understood why you insisted in renewing the fortune/fate point pool every game session.

 

This decision cause many aberrations.

 

When the session is ending every player spend all his points because the next time the pool will be full again.

 

It would have been better to replenish the pool at the end of the chapter (if the adventure is divided in chapters) or at a certain point of the story.

 

At present the fate points are given back too frequently and the players can cure themselves too easily.

 

In this way Medicae o normal healing is scarcely used.

 

It too difficult to die but at the same time it s easier to become permanently damaged from severe wound effects

 

I think that with the new rules would be very rare to be forced to burn fate point to save the character (save for the death from over abundant fatigue sources).

 

Characters will be always healed or risk permanent effects.

 

Think about it.

 

 

DENIZENS OF THE IMPERIUM

 

Humanoid npcs should have special abilities based on existing talents.

 

For example the arbitrator (p.286) has an ability named Pursuit of Justice.

 

This should be a normal talent because if I role play a acolyte that used to be an adeptus arbites I've the right to take it.

 

The same things if I have an assassin character and I want to get the ability Single Out that can be used only by the Skulker npc (p.288).

 

NPCs powers should follow the rule system and not be improvised for the single creature (if it s not a real unique one as a demon prince).

 

THE END

 

Wow I just discovered how much I wrote.

 

I hope you'll not hate me too much for what I wrote and you'll appreciate at least the effort I made for writing down (nearly) all I thought reading and testing the new rules.

 

I am at your disposal if you need to clarify what I tried to explain.

 

Best regards.

 

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